Chinese Lantern Festival Philly: The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival is an enchanting event. It illuminates Franklin Square, captivating visitors with its mesmerizing display of lights. This highly anticipated festival, located in Philadelphia’s Historic District, showcases a dazzling collection of intricately handcrafted lanterns. These magnificent creations, including dragons, tigers, and rabbits, are brought to life by skilled lantern artisans from China.
A Cultural Extravaganza
Immerse yourself in a cultural extravaganza at this remarkable festival. In addition to the stunning lantern displays, visitors can enjoy a wide array of live cultural performances. They can also indulge in delectable dining options, and explore unique shopping experiences. The festival’s highlight, the Dragon Beer Garden, provides a vibrant atmosphere for guests to savor refreshing beverages amidst the enchanting ambiance.
An Unforgettable Experience
Since its debut in 2016, the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philly has become a must-see attraction for both residents and tourists alike. It has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors from all corners of the globe, offering them a truly unforgettable experience. This year, mark your calendars as the festival runs from June 21 to August 13, 2023, promising to be the most extraordinary edition yet.
The Enchanting Display
Prepare to be captivated by the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival at Franklin Square. This exceptional event showcases an extensive collection of larger-than-life lantern displays. Created by talented artists from China and the Philadelphia region, these breathtaking installations depict various themes, each more magnificent than the last. With 34 installations, 180 animals, 2,500 flowers, and an astonishing 25,000 LEDs, the 2023 lantern displays are set to be the most brilliant to date.
Explore the Highlights
Among the highlights of this year’s festival are several captivating lantern displays. The Sea Dragon Tunnel, spanning an impressive 100 feet, will transport you to an underwater wonderland. Don’t miss the Year of the Rabbit display, the interactive Fortune Telling Wall, and the delightful Panda-monium exhibit. Other must-see displays include the Lingzhi Tree, Piranha Plants, Chrysanthemum Corridor, Cherry Blossom Forest, and the iconic 164-foot-long firebreathing dragon that has become a symbol of the festival.
Prepare to be entertained by a series of captivating cultural stage performances that take place three times each night. These performances, held at 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m., and 10:15 p.m., offer a mesmerizing blend of ancient traditions and contemporary artistry. Witness incredible feats of skill, such as jar juggling, plate spinning, and Jiu-Jitsu acrobatics. Delight in the graceful movements of ancient folk dances and the elegance of traditional tea ceremonies. One of the highlights of the show is the thrilling face-changer performance. Here expert performers execute rapid mask changes with the wave of a hand or flick of a fan.
Enchanting Fountain Shows
Between the stage performances, you’ll be treated to a captivating fountain show that will dazzle your senses. Specially choreographed to the beats of the Beijing-based Chopstick Brothers, the fountain show creates a mesmerizing spectacle of water dancing and synchronization. The fountain show runs every 30 minutes from 6 to 10 p.m., except during stage performances. It ensures that you don’t miss a moment of this enchanting display.
Folk Art and Cultural Connections
Immerse yourself in the rich culture of the festival by observing the work of talented folk artists. Each night, visitors can witness skilled artists painting lanterns and creating intricate artwork using braided aluminum. On Fridays and Saturday evenings, visitors can also participate in cultural connection demonstrations held inside the Franklin Square Pavilion. Engage with face changers who will greet you and pose for photos at 6:30 p.m. Experience the art of dumpling-making with demonstrations by chefs from Sang Kee at 7:15 p.m. and 9 p.m. Lastly, learn the ancient art of folk dancing with lessons provided by talented folk dancers at 8:15 p.m.
Delightful Culinary Experiences
Indulge in a variety of culinary delights at the Chinese Lantern Festival at Philly. From traditional Asian cuisine, including rice balls from Oishii and dan dan noodles from Sang Kee, to classic American favorites, such as burgers, hot dogs, and cheesesteaks from SquareBurger, there’s something to satisfy every palate. For those aged 21 and over, the Dragon Beer Garden offers a delightful selection of beer, wine, and specialty cocktails until 10 p.m. each night. It ensures a delightful dining experience for all festival-goers.
Admission and Tickets
To ensure you have the best experience at the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival, it is essential to plan your visit accordingly. Admission to Franklin Square is free during the daytime. It will allow you to explore the festival grounds and admire the lanterns without a ticket. However, starting at 5 p.m. daily, the park is cleared of guests and closes in preparation for the festival.
The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival begins promptly at 6 p.m., and tickets are required for entry. While tickets may be available for purchase at the festival entrance, it is strongly recommended to secure your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Sometimes sales may end when the park reaches its capacity.
For general admission from Sunday through Thursday, tickets can be used anytime from 6 to 11 p.m. and are priced at $22 for adults, $14 for children aged 3-12, and $20 for youth aged 13-17, seniors, and active military personnel. On Fridays and Saturdays, timed tickets are required to manage park capacity and allow entry at any point after the printed time. These tickets are priced at $25 for adults, $14 for children aged 3-12, and $23 for youth aged 13-17, seniors, and active military personnel.
Visitors who wish to make the most of their visit to Franklin Square Park can purchase combo festival tickets. These tickets offer discounted access to the Parx Liberty Carousel, Philly Mini-Golf, or both. The tickets allow you to enjoy all the attractions the park has to offer.
Children aged 2 and under, when accompanied by an adult, can enter the festival and enjoy the attractions free of charge. However, it’s important to note that ticketholders are not permitted re-entry after leaving the festival grounds.
Make It an Unforgettable Experience
Extend your stay in Philadelphia to fully immerse yourself in all the city has to offer. Book the Visit Philly Overnight Package and enjoy free hotel parking, along with various choose-your-own-adventure perks. As part of this package, you can also secure tickets to Disney100: The Exhibition at The Franklin Institute.
Alternatively, you may choose to book the new Visit Philly 3-Day Stay package, where you can buy two nights at a Philadelphia hotel and get the third night absolutely free. This package ensures you have ample time to explore the city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and world-class attractions.
Make the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival and your visit to Philadelphia an experience you’ll cherish forever. Plan your trip today and prepare to be enchanted by the awe-inspiring display of lights, cultural performances, and delightful culinary experiences that await you.